Bob Moore | Gaithersburg Real Estate


So, the home is gorgeous, the yard is perfect but inside, your things cover every surface. Whether you’re setting up for an open house, or trying to get the packing done, the last thing you want is clutter complicating the process. Seems easy, right? But getting control of the mess can be harder than it sounds. 

You have plenty of choices: boxes, shelves, under-bench and table storage; so many that it can just make your job harder by creating more clutter. There are lots of television shows, DVDs and self-help books that purport to show you the best ways to organize your life. You don't need to become the model of organization to get your home on the market, merely start with these few simple rules. 

The Rules

Getting control of your clutter can be overwhelming, but you can get through it. 

1. One Step at a Time: It looks like a huge job, but you’ll manage. Just do one part at a time. Start small, say, with the kids’ toys or a junk drawer and work your way through the room. Then move to the next room and repeat. Focus on just the part you’re working and don’t worry about the rest until you get there.

2. Keep Track of the Time: It's easy to get caught up thinking about why everything is important or getting just the right setup on that bookshelf, but it's important to keep yourself going. Limit yourself to short blocks of time, 1-2 hours, and complete a whole block before moving on. For example, start with your junk drawer (come on, everyone has one): get the entire thing sorted out, then move on. That could mean moving on to the next project, but you can also go back to your life. Unless you've left this to the very last minute, don't think you need to get it all done in one day. You can reduce the stress substantially by spreading it out.

3. Give Yourself Enough Time: However long you think this job will take, double it. The doubling rule is a good standard for planning for two reasons: First, you won't be disappointed if it takes longer than you initially thought and second, if you are lucky and get done early you’ll be extra excited!

4. Keep it Simple: Making your de-clutter plans too complicated only slows you down. Use the four box rule: Keep, Give, Discard, Save. The discard box is for anything too used, damaged or otherwise inappropriate for giving away or keeping. Anything from junk to trash goes here. The Keep box is just a temporary spot, use it for things that are staying in the same room, drawer, or shelf. This helps keep them out of the way while you finish sorting anything else. The Save box is similar to the keep box, except these things go in other rooms. Lastly, the give box: this can be things going to friends or family, and should also include anything you want to donate to charity. Charitable donations are a valuable tax break that can help offset some of your other expenses. 

Your clutter is your business, but it’s a good idea to ask your real estate professional about any specific staging needs to help show off your home to potential buyers so you can take care of those items first.




This listing recently sold for $428,000.

13207 AUTUMN MIST CIR, GERMANTOWN, MD 20874  

Residential
$428,000
Price
$428,000
Sale Price
3
Bedrooms
4
Baths
Sought after FOUNTAIN HILLS. Elegant, immaculate, End unit TH; 3 bedroom, 3 full and 1 1/2 bath; 2600+total sqft of beautifully maintained 3 level home with an attached garage. Across from "overflow" parking. TOP LEVEL Master bedroom has a bump out that allows for a sitting area. Walk in closet that leads to a upgraded attic. Trey Ceiling; attached bath nicely decorated with a double sink and separate shower.FULL Washer and dryer are on this level.2 other bedrooms; one is set up as an office.FULL bath in the hall.MAIN LEVEL: Open upgraded kitchen, with granite counters and a very large island. Bump out allows for a beautiful breakfast room, which in turn leads to the deck. Also opens to a cozy family room. Dining room and living room combo are elegant and spacious.LOWER LEVEL:Enter your home at this level. This is also the secure entrance from the garage. See the pix for the back family room~large room with an extra storage space; full bath, a walk out double doors to patio and garden area. There is a gas fireplace with built-ins on either side. The bump out on this level offers the opportunity to add a bedroom/den or just leave it as a nice sitting area. FULL bath on this level.LOTS OF OPTIONS .



One of the most critical aspects of your financial state, when you’re buying a home, is that of your credit score. Credit scores take your entire economic history into account. That means every missed payment, every account opened, and that three-digit number represents every debt you owe. Once you obtain your credit score and assess your finances, if you realize your score needs help, you may feel desperate. The good news is that you’re not helpless. There are plenty of things that you can do to raise your credit score in a short time to increase your chances of getting a better rate on a loan for your home purchase. Read on for some tips on how to improve your credit score.



Keep An Eye On Your Credit Card Balances


One of the most impactful factors on your credit score is how much debt you have. How much debt you have versus how much available credit you have is a significant factor in your score. If you pay your balances in full each month, that’s great. Keep in mind that even if you do pay off your balances that monthly balance amount affects your score as well. Paying off your outstanding credit card balances will have a positive effect on your score.


Remember Some Debt History Is Good


Once you pay off a car or home loan, it can be tempting to want these accounts removed from your credit history. When you’re getting a home loan, the lender wants to know that you’re reliable. If you can show that you have responsibly paid off other loans that can only be a positive thing for you and your credit score. Don’t be so quick to remove old accounts that have been paid off from your report. 


Pay On Time


If you pay your bills on time continuously, it can only bring your score up. If our rating needs help, this could be the most critical thing that you can do to raise your score.


Keep Your Payments Equal Over Time


Keeping your payments equal means that you shouldn’t start charging more than you usually would. You also shouldn’t begin to make lower payments than you have been. Keeping your spending and payments consistent can help you to raise and maintain a good credit score.


If you know you’ll be purchasing a home soon; you should check your credit score. If you’re not close to heading out on the home search, you can pull back a bit. While you always want to maintain good credit health, you shouldn’t be so focused on your credit score that you forget about other things like saving for a downpayment. Know that your credit score is essential in buying a home, but understand that there are many moving parts when it comes to buying a home. 




Believe it or not, upgrading your residence's curb appeal won't necessarily force you to break your budget. Now, let's take a look at three cost-effective ways to improve your house's curb appeal.

1. Mow the Lawn

Tall grass and weeds are unlikely to do you any favors, particularly if you want to reap the benefits of a fast, profitable home sale. Fortunately, if you spend some time mowing the lawn and trimming the hedges, you may be able to boost your house's curb appeal.

It generally won't take long to perform lawn maintenance tasks. Then, once you complete these tasks for the first time, you can set up a schedule to complete them every week or every other week until your residence sells. That way, your lawn will continue to look great in the eyes of potential buyers.

2. Clear the Walkways

Dirt, dust and debris may make your home's exterior walkways look messy. Perhaps worst of all, these problems may drive prospective buyers away from your house.

On the other hand, neat, tidy walkways could help your residence stand out to potential buyers. If you devote time and resources to sweep and clean your house's exterior walkways, you can increase the likelihood that your residence will make a positive first impression on buyers.

3. Remove Decorations

Although plastic flamingoes, lawn gnomes and other home exterior decorations have helped you distinguish your house from others in your neighborhood, now may be a good time to put these decorations into storage. Because if you keep decorations on your lawn, it may be difficult for a buyer to envision what life may be like as the owner of your house.

Remember, your goal as a home seller is to make your residence as appealing as possible to prospective buyers. By removing home exterior decorations, you can show off your residence's full potential. As such, you can make it easy for buyers to fall in love with your residence as soon as they see it for the first time.

As you search for ways to upgrade your house's curb appeal without breaking your budget, you may want to consult with a real estate agent too. This housing market professional is happy to provide home selling recommendations and can help you transform your home's exterior from drab to fab.

Typically, a real estate agent will provide expert guidance at each stage of the house selling journey. He or she first will help you craft a home selling strategy and promote your residence to dozens of prospective buyers. Plus, once you receive an offer to purchase your home, a real estate agent can help you analyze this proposal. And if you accept an offer to purchase your house, a real estate agent will do whatever it takes to help you quickly finalize your home sale.

Ready to list your residence? Upgrade your house's curb appeal today, and you can move one step closer to achieving the best-possible results during the property selling journey.



Although you might have a home selling timeline in place, there may be instances where changes to your plan are required. These include:

1. You are listing your home in a buyer's market.

If you add your house to a buyer's market, you likely will face lots of competition from rival home sellers. As such, it may be difficult to enjoy a fast, profitable home selling experience if you fail to promote your residence accordingly.

To succeed in a buyer's market, you'll need to be patient. But if you can find ways to differentiate your house from the competition, you could maximize your home sale earnings.

Oftentimes, it helps to revamp a house's curb appeal. By mowing the front lawn and performing various home exterior improvements, you can help your house make a positive first impression on potential buyers.

You also should spend some time removing clutter from inside your house. That way, you can make it easy for buyers to envision what life may be like if they purchase your home.

2. You are struggling to stir up interest in your house.

After you add your house to the real estate market, it may be several weeks or months before a buyer submits an offer to purchase your residence. And if you're committed to optimizing the value of your house, it is important to wait for the right offer before you finalize your house sale.

If your home initially fails to stir up interest among buyers, there is no need to worry. In fact, there are many things that you can do to ensure your house hits the mark with buyers.

Generally, it is a good idea to establish an aggressive initial home asking price. This price should account for your house's condition, age and the current state of the real estate market.

It typically is beneficial to consider the homebuyer's perspective as well. Because if you understand why a buyer may be interested in your house, you could discover ways to help you house stand out in a competitive real estate market.

3. You have yet to hire a real estate agent.

Finding a real estate agent who can help you sell your house is key. Yet if you fail to employ an expert real estate agent right away, it may be difficult to enjoy a quick, seamless home selling experience.

Real estate agents are available in cities and towns nationwide, and these housing market professionals are happy to assist you in any way possible. If you need a real estate agent who can help you list your house and promote it to dozens of potential buyers, you should have no trouble finding an agent who matches or surpasses your expectations. Or, if you want to find a real estate agent who can offer tips throughout the home selling journey, you can choose from many potential candidates in your area.

Remember, be flexible as you proceed along the home selling journey, and you can increase the likelihood of achieving the best-possible results.